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Update on Middle Eastern Wars

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

Submitted by George Washington.

Since
the U.S. Has Been Planning Regime Change In Syria For Decades, I Guess
the Little Things Like Working On the Same Side as Al Qaeda – or the
Risk of Picking a Fight with Nuclear Powers China and Russia – Are
Ignored

AP reports:

Top U.S. intelligence officials told Congress Thursday
that al-Qaida of Iraq was likely behind a series of bombings against the
Syrian regime in recent months.

 

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said bombings against
security and intelligence targets in Damascus and Aleppo bear “all the
earmarks of an al-Qaida-like attack”, leading the U.S. intelligence
community to believe the Iraqi militant branch is extending its reach
into Syria.

(this corroborates the Arab League’s findings.)

This is interesting for two reasons.

First, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq until the U.S. invaded in 2003:

 

(

Despite the repeated attempts by the U.S. to link Saddam to 9/11.)

Second, the U.S., Israel and its allies are fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda: against the Syrian government.

As I noted yesterday, Syria will hold elections and enact a new Constitution in less than two weeks.

But the U.N passed a resolution
today calling for Syrian president (Bashar al-Assad) to resign. The
U.S. and Israel will try to use this as a proclamation of “international
backing” for an invasion of Syria.

Russia said today it does not support regime change:

The deputy minister also said that Russia does not
intend to persuade Syrian President Bashar Assad to accept the Arab
League’s proposal on sending a joint LAS and UN peacekeeping force to
Damascus.

 

Russia opposes any regime change, or removal of President Assad. In addition, Moscow insists on recognizing the role of the opposition in the current violence.

An as I noted last week:

Russia has sent a large naval force
to Syria in a show of support for the Syrian government, and a
high-level Russian general and former member of the Russian joint chiefs
of staff has said that Russia will defend Iran. Iran and Syria have had a mutual defense pact for years, and Iran is purportedly directly assisting the Syrian military in its fight with the rebels … sending 15,000 troops of its own. And China has warned against an attack on Syria.

I guess when a country has been planning regime change in Syria for decades
– little things like working on the same side as our mortal enemies,
having a government agree to elections and a new constitution, or
potentially provoking nuclear powers like China or Russia are ignored.

 

Depsite the Hysteria, Experts Say that Iran Poses Very Little Threat to the West or Israel

 

The war drums are growing very loud.

For example, the former head of Mossad – who has been strongly opposed to war against Iran – has now thrown in the towel, and more or less said that war is inevitable after the car bombs in India, Thailand and Georgia (even though it is not clear that Iran is guilty for those attacks).

But AP notes:

[Defense Intelligence Agency chief Lt. Gen. Ronald]
Burgess tells senators Iran is unlikely to initiate or intentionally
provoke a conflict.

[Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper says it’s
“technically feasible” that Tehran could produce a nuclear weapon in
one or two years, if its leaders decide to build one, “but practically
not likely.”

Indeed, Iran has not attacked another country in hundreds of years. (In the Iran-Iraq war, Iraq was the initial aggressor.)

Moreover, American, Israeli and European leaders all say that Iran has not even decided whether or not to build a nuclear bomb.

And – as the Christian Science Monitor notes – even if Iran did build a bomb – it probably wouldn’t pose much of a danger:

Shrill warnings of war or imminent apocalypse over Iran’s nuclear program have never been so strident, or so ominous.

 

A window is closing fast, the narrative goes, to prevent a fanatical
and suicidal religious regime from acquiring the ultimate tools of Armageddon: nuclear weapons. Within months, some politicians claim, either Israel, the United States, or both may have no choice but to attack Iran to remove this “existential threat” to the Jewish state.

 

The world is facing another Hitler, declares Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
and this moment of decision is akin to the eve of World War II. Iran
is a threat to Israel and “a real danger to humanity as a whole,” warns
Israeli President Shimon Peres.

 

The tone on the US presidential campaign trail is no less dire. 

 

***

 

In fact, say analysts and nonproliferation experts who have
studied the effect of the bomb on countries, coexisting with a
nuclear-armed Iran – or at least a nuclear-capable Iran – may well be
possible, even inevitable, whether a military strike delays that
outcome or not.

 

Analysts say Iran is not an irrational, suicidal actor that can’t be
deterred. Nor do they believe it is determined to destroy Israel at all
costs. A recent Israeli think tank simulation of “the day after” an
Iranian nuclear test came to the same conclusion: that nuclear
annihilation will not automatically result.

 

***

 

If Iran were to become a nuclear power, the most immediate question
would be what it means for Israel, where warnings have reached
histrionic heights.

“Absolutely nothing will happen,” says Martin Van Creveld, an Israeli
historian and author of some 20 books on military strategy. “Israel
has what it takes to deter Iran, and the Iranians know it.”

 

Mr. Van Creveld is implying that Israel’s own nuclear arsenal of an
estimated 200 warheads would prevent any Iranian first strike. Israel
has the only such arsenal in the Middle East, and – unlike Iran’s
program – it has never been subject to UN inspection or safeguards.

 

“Say they build one bomb – it’s not good enough. They need how many –
2, 3, 5, 10, 20? And that will take them a long time, so it’s all
nonsense,” says Van Creveld. Iran is “not going to commit suicide by
dropping the bomb – or even threatening to drop the bomb – on us.”

***

In Israel, even talking about living with a nuclear-armed Iran has
long been taboo because it might appear to concede that what the US,
Israel, and Europe have declared
“unacceptable” is, in fact, acceptable. Yet that was the scenario of a
simulation last October by the Institute for National Security Studies
(INSS), an Israeli think tank affiliated with Tel Aviv University, that gave insights into what might happen across the region if Iran became a nuclear state.

The surprising result, the day after a hypothetical Iranian nuclear
test, was not war. Instead, all the main players – from Washington to Moscow to Tel Aviv – adjusted rather easily to the new reality, with few dramatic changes in behavior.

Even Iran, rather than wielding its handful of new atomic bombs as a
sword of Damocles over a fearful region, attempted “to use them to
reach an agreement with the major powers to improve its strategic
standing,” according to the INSS report on the simulation published in
January.

“The sky won’t fall the day after,” says Yoel Guzansky, a research
fellow at INSS who shaped the simulation and was an Iran specialist in
the Israeli prime minister’s office for four years until 2009.

***

NATO says it is “unlikely” that Iran would pledge nuclear protection
of its proxies like Hezbollah – and makes no mention of sharing such
hard-won nuclear technology with them, which is a frequent refrain of
hawks and doomsday politicians.

[Geneva-based Iran specialist with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Shahram] Chubin
states in his book on Iran’s nuclear ambitions that “there is no
reason to believe that Iran today, any more than Saddam Hussein
earlier, would transfer WMD [weapons of mass destruction] technology to
terrorist groups like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah.”

Likewise, proliferation expert Joseph Cirincione,
in his 2007 book “Bomb Scare,” points out that nations like Iran and
North Korea are “not the most likely sources for terrorists since their
stockpiles, if any, are small and exceedingly precious, and hence well
guarded.”

 


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